Needless to say, the short glimpse of a somewhat happy mood was gone. But Chun Yin was right: They did not have much time. If there was something they wanted to talk about, they had to hurry.
Jinde took a deep breath and then nodded. He understood. As hard as it was, he understood. “Then … what about me? You said you didn’t want to put her in that situation. But what about me? Didn’t you put me in almost the same situation? You promised to — no, you did marry me but you never made true on your words or actions.”
Chun Yin nodded. “I know. And that is what I regret the most. I … I don’t have a good explanation for it. Just that back then, I didn’t know what else to do. There was you and there was her, both people that I should take responsibility for. I finally decided on her just because she was pregnant. If she hadn’t been, I would have decided on you in a heartbeat.”
Jinde lowered his head, unhappy with that explanation. He realized it was the truth. In fact, this was pretty much what he had already known but hearing it again still didn’t feel any better than back then. “Then why didn’t you make your promise true the first time around? Back when … back when we slept with each other the first time, why didn’t you stand by me then? Why did you not make it official back then? If you had, then none of this would have ever happened.”
This was the question that bugged him the most. Yes, after Biao Han had been in the picture, it wasn’t a surprise that Chun Yin would choose her. But before that? He could have been with him. And if they had been together and officially married already, then he never would’ve gotten involved with Biao Han.
Chun Yin kept quiet at first. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to answer Jinde’s question, it was just that he noticed how slowly, the two souls in his body were merging. On the one hand, he could feel his time running out but, on the other hand, he also perceived Leng Jin Yu’s memories as something that was less vague than before. As such, he also found out that this reincarnation of his had actually remembered a thing or two. In fact, even from the day after that night, there was a faint memory.
Well, this was good. In this case, he did not have to explain too much. Jinde probably had guessed it already.
He sighed faintly, trying to find the best way to bring it up. In the end, he could only be straightforward. “I think you’ve already figured it out. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. In fact, I was looking forward to being your husband. It’s just that the following day, I was stopped just when I was on the way back to you.”
Jinde nodded. Leng Jin Yu had insinuated as much from that snippet of information he had gleaned from his past. “Master.”
Chun Yin nodded. “Yes. If it had just been that he told me not to be with you, I likely would’ve ignored it. But that day, what he told me was that you had regretted it. In fact, he told me that because we were drunk, you couldn’t even remember that it was me but that you had at least some vague notion of it that allowed you to make that kind of judgment.” He smiled wryly and shook his head at himself. “Most likely, I should’ve found it dubious. But I couldn’t see any reason for Master to lie to me. Especially since he didn’t seem to know yet that it was me.
“Also, growing up, I always felt that he encouraged me to be with you. So this … I never would have expected. It actually made me believe that it had to be the truth no matter how unlikely that thought seemed.”
Jinde furrowed his brows as well. “He told me something very similar. In fact, he said that he had spoken to you and that you had said that you regretted sleeping with me and that if not for the fact that you had been drunk, it never would have happened.”
Chun Yin shook his head. “I said no such thing. I never would have. Drunk or not, I definitely never regretted that. Even now, that is one of the few very fond memories that I still hold dear.”
Jinde nodded. He had no trouble believing this. After all, Leng Jin Yu had remembered two parts of that night and the following day. And since the things that one remembered were usually the most emotional parts of one’s life, it had to mean that it had meant a lot to Chun Yin. Also, considering that he had only ever remembered being with him but never about Biao Han … had to mean something. “Why do you think Master did this? Telling both of us that the other regretted it … He was clearly trying to split us up. But why? Since he had encouraged it before, why did he suddenly change his mind?”
Chun Yin leaned back on the bed and sighed. “Your guess is as good as mine. To be honest, there are a few decisions that Master made that I can’t understand. I have often thought about it.
“Why try to split us up? Why tell me that I shouldn’t go along with it even after you were king and still showed interest? Why did he even make us compete for the throne in the first place?” He raised his brows and then scratched his neck. “I’m not saying that I’m angry about how it turned out. You were a good king. It’s just that … if he expected that it would be me, why put us through that? That kind of competition might’ve hurt our relationship. And you weren’t interested in the throne at the beginning anyway. He might as well have made one of us king and the other one an adviser. That also would’ve benefited us.”
Jinde slowly nodded. “I can’t disagree. In fact, at the end of the day, I’m sure that you wouldn’t have done a bad job as the dragon king. I mean even Qiu Ling was able to handle it and he wasn’t prepared his whole life for this. Why wouldn’t you have been able to cope with both Master and me at your side? And everyone was convinced that you would do a splendid job. I don’t think there was ever any chance that things would have gone wrong.”
“And yet … that’s not how things turned out.” Chun Yin shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. I’m not sad about that. I’m just sad that this was what finally made us miss out. I really would have wanted it to be the other way around. Not being king is one thing, not being able to be with the person you love is another one altogether. I don’t think there’s any doubt which is worse.”